Best-ever qualifying result for SEAT Sport This afternoon's qualifying session for round 5 of the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship saw Frank Diefenbacher claim SEAT Sport's best ever qualifying position. Frank will start the first of ...
Best-ever qualifying result for SEAT Sport This afternoon's qualifying session for round 5 of the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship saw Frank Diefenbacher claim SEAT Sport's best ever qualifying position. Frank will start the first of Sunday's two ETCC races from 3rd place on the grid after running for much of the 30-minute session in first place.
A slight driving error on his last "flying lap, when the German driver missed a gearchange, cost any chance of regaining pole position, but Frank and the team are still delighted with his performance. Earlier, Jordi Gene had set the quickest time in the first practice session - the first time a Toledo Cupra had topped the timesheets - but a trip into the gravel then meant an early end to his second session.
A lack of grip then saw Jordi set the 15th fastest time in qualifying, while Rickard Rydell qualified 9th after a gearbox problem early in the half- hour.
Rickard Rydell: "It's a real shame. The gearbox started to go on my best lap so I didn't get the chance to set any more decent times. I'm disappointed, since we were right up there this morning and so I know there should have been more SEATs at the head of the field. I'm really pleased for Frank though; he did really well. He showed just how good the car is here and so it's looking really promising for the races."
Jordi Gene: "I don't know why I had such little grip; maybe it was something to do with going off earlier in the day. Our priority now is to find and fix the problem. If I can finish the first race in 8th place, I'll start race 2 on pole and then anything's possible. After my pace this morning and Frank's performance in qualifying, we could have had all three cars well up the grid. Still, tomorrow's another day!"
Frank Diefenbacher: "I'm really pleased; the car is clearly still improving. If I'm honest, we didn't expect to be quite so quick here, so I was a little surprised at Jordi's time in first practice. When Rickard and I were just as fast in session two, I began to believe it! We modified the suspension setup for qualifying and I went even faster; if I hadn't made that mistake, who knows what might have happened"
Round 5 begins at 14.45 local time on Sunday, with round 6 at 15.45. The finishing positions for round 5 will dictate the grid for round 6, with the top 8 run in reverse order.